2021 Strawberry Picking and Map of U-Pick Farms

By:
Outdoor ActivitiesSummerTravel

We have a berry sweet activity for your family this summer! Strawberry picking is a sweet way to kick off summer and get outside. Strawberry picking is perfect for little kids, because the plants are low to the ground and very accessible for little hands. Pick strawberries at the height of freshness and then freeze for year round use. Farms are working hard to follow health safety guidelines and create a special and safe activity for your family to enjoy. Use our guide to find U-Pick strawberry fields within driving distance of Chicago.

We’ve also have provided gathering tips to make the experience more enjoyable before and after! Grab your sunscreen, hat, buckets, and boots and start your summer off with a juicy treat!

Local Strawberry Farms with U-Pick Strawberries This Summer

The strawberry season usually begins in mid-June and continues for 3–4 weeks depending on the weather and how many people come to pick. This can vary with weather patterns, so it is best to check with the farm you are planning to visit to find out when they expect to open for the season.

Most farms recommend checking their Facebook page or calling beforehand for more up-to-date information regarding their crops. We have provided the most up-to-date information possible for each farm, but please call ahead or check their site for further information. Some farms require masks in the fields and other require them just during payment.

Strawberry Picking Map


Where to Pick Strawberries

Blue Clay Berry Farm
5154 State Rd 50
Delavan, WI 53115
(262) 745-3720
Facebook

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 10, 2021
  • Check Facebook or call for updates because they closed for a few days after that to get water to their fields.

Cody’s Farm
19502 River Road
Marengo, IL 60152
(815) 568-7976
Facebook

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 9, 2021
  • $16 per 4 quart bucket u-pick, $4 per quart basket u-pick, $6 per quart pre-picked
  • Picking available daily from 8am-5pm

Garwood Orchards & Farm Markets
5911 West 50 South
La Porte, IN 46350
(219) 362-4385

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 1, 2021
  • Planning on strawberry picking being available until July 4
  • Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
  • Last wagon leaves at 5:15 pm

Guelde Strawberries
4779 East 1525th Road
Earlville, IL 60518
(815) 228-9603

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 5, 2021
  • Strawberries are $2 per pound
  • Call to let them know you would like to come so they can make sure it’s not too crowded in the field
  • Please note that their website is not being updated

Heider’s Berry Farm
1100 North Queen Anne Road
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 338-0301
Facebook

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 9, 2021
  • Strawberries at $14 per 4 quart basket for u-pick and pre-picked rhubarb is $3 per pound.
  • Hours: Daily 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Strawberry picking lasts about 3-4 weeks at Heider’s

Johnson’s Farm Produce
8960 East Ridge Road
Hobart, IN 46342
(219) 962-1383
Facebook

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 5, 2021
  • Strawberry Madness Festival every weekend in June with activities.
  • Weekday $4 per person for entry for U-Pick. Strawberries-$14 a 4qt. bucket (the bucket is provided and charged by the bucket, so fill your bucket!)
  • Weekend Festival U-pick $9 per person
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.
  • Call before arrival to be sure strawberries are ripe and still available.
  • Masks are required at check-in and check-out, as well as on tram rides

Olive Berry Acres
2575 West Mine Road
Mazon, IL 60444
(815) 474-6511
Facebook

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 1, 2021
  • Hours: Monday – Tuesday closed, Wednesday – Friday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday  9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Rosey’s Berry Farm
1066 N 1150 West
Michigan City, IN 46360
(219) 874-2981
Facebook

  • As of June 14, 2021 they were already closed for the 2021 strawberry season
  • Hours: Daily 7:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Stade’s Farm and Market
3709 West Miller Road
McHenry, IL 60051
(815) 675-6396
Facebook

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 6, 2021
  • Price: $6 for a 1-quart basket, $12 for 2-quart basket, $18 for a 4-quart basket
  • A $6 minimum strawberry purchase per person is required to enter the strawberry patch for ages 3+
  • Hours: Daily 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Susie’s Garden Patch
6828 Pleasant Street
Garden Prairie, IL 61038
(815) 597-3011
Facebook

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 11, 2021
  • Hours: Monday and Tuesday 9am-noon, Thursday – Saturday 9am-4:30pm
  • $1.95 per pound
  • U-Pick patch is only about 1/4 of an acre and not well taken care of

Thompson’s Strawberry Farm
14000 75th Street
Bristol, WI 53104
Additional New Location: 6621 156th Avenue, Bristol, WI
(262) 857-2353
Facebook

  • U-Pick Opening Date: June 8, 2021
  • Open Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at the home farm (on Highway 50).  Wednesday, Thursday, and the weekend will be at our the new location (corner of MB and K).
  • Price: $16 per 4 quart basket (cash only), pick 6 baskets and pay for 5 baskets. Entrance fee: Weekdays $5.00/car,  Weekends $10.00/car.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday-Sunday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Tom’s Farm Market
10214 Algonquin Road
Huntley, IL 60142
(847) 669-3421
Facebook

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 11, 2021; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sunday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Planning Your Strawberry Picking Trip

Always call before you go picking to verify hours and crop availability. Ask if the fields are picked over or still have a decent amount of strawberries left to pick. Some fields are picked clean by lunchtime on the weekends!

Some farms do not supply containers, while others require that you use their supplied containers. Some farms even offer a discount if you bring your own buckets. Call to check the farm’s policies before you leave.

I also recommend asking when the fields were sprayed. Sometimes, freshly sprayed farms make it less appetizing for sampling as you pick. It’s way more fun, especially for the kids, to pick if you can taste along the way!

Things to Bring Strawberry Picking

Consider the heat and sun while picking. There often aren’t trees around strawberry fields so the berries can receive full sun, which means you will get full sun too! This may mean wearing a hat while picking, wearing sunscreen, and light clothing. You may also want to bring or apply bug spray before going as well.

Pack water, and drink often! You are bent over, crawling on the ground and it is easy to get dizzy in the heat.

Bring a picnic lunch, or at least a snack and a blanket to eat on.

Don’t wear nice clothes or shoes. Especially with kids, you almost always get strawberry juice on your clothes. Usually there is straw or mulch between the rows of plants, but depending on how much rain there has been, there could be mud underneath, too. Bring a change of clothes for the kids (and maybe yourself too)!

Strawberry Picking Tips

Unripe berries will not ripen once picked, so pick strawberries that are bright red (no white tips) but pass up the ones that have bruises or are mushy. The size of the strawberry will not affect its sweetness.

Many strawberries ripen under the leaves of the plant, so it helps to gently lift the leaves to look towards the center of the plant.

Strawberries keep better if you pick them with the cap and stem on. Pull the strawberry at the stem with a slight twist and it should come off with the cap and stem. Don’t stress about it too much though because they are still fine without the cap and stem.

When You Get Home

Don’t wash your strawberries until you are ready to eat them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling. Wash in cool water to remove dirt and store in the refridgerator.

To freeze your strawberries: wash and hull them (cut off the green part and remove the core), dry them really well by patting them dry or laying them out to dry on your counter. Lay them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and put in freezer. When completely frozen, transfer them into ziplock bags, removing as much air as you can. Strawberries will be slightly mushier than other frozen fruits when unfrozen, but they are still delicious. Berries can keep for months in the freezer, so don’t hesitate to freeze extras!

For more ways to get out and enjoy the fresh air as a family, check out our outdoor activities page.

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • We can’t wait to try this…never have. Would you mind sharing a favorite of these? There are so many to choose from!

    Reply
    • We have gone to Thompsons and had a good experience there, but I’m considering trying a new place to explore and compare. I’ve definitely learned how important it is to call before going. The two most important things to ask in my opinion are: When is the last time you sprayed? (I don’t feel good about my kids sampling berries as they pick if the fields were just sprayed the day before) and How are the picking conditions? If it’s towards the end of their season there is a good possibility that picking will be frustrating and you will spend more time bending over and searching for berries compared to actually picking. That happened to us last year because we went too late.

      Maybe others can chime in too?

      Reply
  • Do you happen to know if any of the u-pick have organic strawberries?

    Reply
  • Matt Knight
    June 9, 2020 4:37 pm

    This is such a great resource, thank you for creating and updating it!

    Reply

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